Isiolo County First lady, Habiba Guyo has launched a free cervical and breast cancer screening programme, an exercise that will be implemented in all the sub-counties within the county.
In an event held at Bulapesa Health Centre, Habiba said she will ensure at least 60 healthcare workers are trained on cervical and breast cancer screening exercises in the county to ensure the diseases are diagnosed early enough.
She noted that an average 30 mothers undergo screening once-a-month at the Isiolo Teaching and Referral Hospital (ICTRH) against a target of 805.
“I will help women in this course but it is your responsibility to ensure you go for early screening and people should not be scared of going for screening,” Habiba said.
She said that the programme will be implemented across the county, “We are here in Bulapesa then Ngaremara, Daaba and Oldonyiro later this week and next week we will be in Kinna and Garbatulla Sub-Counties.”
“We appreciate our development partners, the office of Isiolo Governor Abdi Guyo, the office of the ‘Beyond Zero’ who we have worked closely with and have pledged to continue supporting this initiative,” she added.
She however noted that although there are other issues that need to be addressed like Gender Based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and menstrual hygiene, she decided to focus on cancer cases first.
The meeting was attended by several Chief Officers in the County government among other county government officials.
The Chief Officer for peace, cohesion and conflict resolution, Bukao Adan urged women to stop fearing cancer screening arguing that although the disease is deadly, we still have many survivors.
Chief Officer for intergovernmental and donor relations Mr. Adan Hassan, said that he will push Non-Governmental Organizations and other partners to support the area residents and also support this initiative.
The Chief Officer for civic education and public participation, Ms. Judy Nyaga urged residents to embrace those who have been diagnosed with cancer.
“Let us avoid exposing those who have been diagnosed with cancer to stigma, let us love, support and embrace them since they are our brothers and sisters,” Judy said.
A cancer survivor Miriam Githaiga narrated how she was diagnosed with cancer at stage 3 in 2017 and started undergoing treatment starting with chemotherapy up to October 2022.
She advised the area people to take advantage of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that is made available for free at the government health institutions saying that it was being administered to girls aged 10 and above to reduce chances of being infected with cervical cancer.
She said the female adults should ensure they visit health centers regularly for the cancer screening so that swift action can be taken to treat the disease which is manageable when noticed in early stages.
By Kirimi Raphael and Harnam Mohamed